Monday, 9 December 2013
World After (Penryn & the End of Days #2) by Susan Ee
Posted by Isa Lavinia
Confession: It took me forever (2 years) to actually get to read Angelfall, and then only because Susana insisted it was so amazing (thank you, by the way!).
There was this new fad (do people still say "fad"?) of ~angel romance~ going on in YA at the time Angelfall came out. And, to me, that was nightmarish.
Why, you ask? The Nephilim.
I don't know if you know about the Nephilim but they're the result of angel dudes banging human women and what they are is GIANTS. GIANTS who come out of regular (I assume) sized vag holes. GIANTS. Ripping through lady bits.
So it was with the utmost reluctance I began reading Angelfall, flinching at every page turn. But I am glad to report that, not only was it an excellent book, it was thoroughly lacking in torn vaginas.
The Nephilim in Penryn & the End of Days aren't exactly like the ones in the Bible, but I still cringe away from any angel/human romance - it's a visceral reaction. Well, not so much visceral, but, you know... more down below, from the undercarriage.
So what I believe will be the main complaint against World After - the lack of Raffe for most of it - to me is, I don't want to say a godsend, because haha not a good thing in this context, but I wasn't bothered.
Make no mistake, I genuinely like Raffe - I wouldn't even mind too much if he and Penryn became a couple, I like them together. It's just... it's just that torn lady bits are not my idea of HEA, is all.
That aside, World After certainly had none of the dreaded 2nd book syndrome. It was action packed, it was riveting, it was heartbreaking.
It focused on Penryn and on her sister Paige, and their mother, which is something I love: portrayals of families (even if dysfunctional ones) in YA. And it was so, so agonizing to witness what happened to Penryn's sister, to go through Penryn's guilt regarding her reactions to this "new version" of Paige.
It wasn't all sadness. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are around for a good bit of the book and, as in the first book, I loved them. Believe me when I tell you, Penryn would be better off with one of them, or both (though ménage doesn't really show up in YA, does it? Pity, since it would solve all those wretched love triangles I hate) - go for the guy who makes you laugh, ladies. Or guys, whatever, I'm not judging.
But back to the plot: it seems that, while in captivity, Penryn's sister developed a case of Stockholm Syndrome for Beliel, the douche nozzle demon who is wearing Raffe's wings. I find Beliel to be a bit of a missed opportunity. I don't know, it's probably all that Paradise Lost stuff getting to me, but I always feel so sorry for the fallen ones... We do get to see a bit of a glimpse of what Beliel could have been, had Susan Ee decided to make a more thorough exploration of his character - but I understand, books need villains, and Beliel is a good one.
Penryn was not at ease with her sister. She found her too strange, too other, too... monstrous. And so do the rebels with whom they're staying. So when the opportunity appears Paige runs away, and Penryn fears she's going to Beliel.
It's up to Penryn to save her sister.
Yes, again, but it's so good! I'm famously stingy with my ratings, so you know a 5 star one is amazing!
So, go read it!
Also, for the Raffe fans, he does show up eventually, so fear not!
I first "heard" of Angelfall, probably right after I joined Goodreads, right at the beginning of 2012.
Back then I was still pretty much limited by the format in which the book was distributed. Meaning, if the book wasn't available in paperback I was pretty much ...you know... o_O
All of this rambling is meant to say that I couldn't wait to get my hands on Angelfall. When BD finally had it for sale, I had to immediately buy it and devour it in one sitting!
That was back in the ~ancient year~ of 2012. July, 2012.
Now, more than a year after, "Wold After" was finally released... YAY!! Or as Scooby says: Scooby Dooby Doo! ;)
Okay, since I like to have the story's facts all perfectly clear in my head I went and re-read Angelfall. Which was just as amazing as the first time I read it!!
Yes, I'm glad to report that there wasn't any sense of dullness involved in the re-read.
Always a factor to take in to account ;)
And then I started reading World After.
You know how after finishing some stories you can't concentrate on nothing else, because the "book's movie" is still playing in your mind?
Well, that is what is happening to me!!
It broke my heart, it scared me to death! But it also made me smile...
How can I let go of such a story?
It was absolutely terrifyingly perfect!!
The pace never drags. The story line flows as a stormy river.
The plot is perfectly outlined, with solid foundations. What more can I ask?
The characters, I love them all. Not only the main characters, like Penryn or Raffe. But also the woman Penryn saved from the Scorpions/locusts fetus. The moment with her family... it was heartbreaking to read.
Tweedle Dee/Dum, our famous spy masters give the story a dash of hilarity in a world that definitely needs it.
Paige... oh my God... she broke my heart...
I wanted her to be safe and happy. I wanted her to go back to the way she was. Is that even possible?
I love both Penryn and Raffe. And the way the longing for each other is portrayed is just... perfect.
But you know what?
I don't want Raffe to be a fallen angel...
So yes, I CAN'T WAIT to read the next book in the series!!
Susan Ee's official site
Buy World After
@ The Book Depository (with free worlwide delivery!)